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Anticipation (a Timeless Truths blog post)

kid presents

 

Did you ever have to wait for something that you wanted really, really bad? Did you get impatient, frustrated (and maybe even a little irritated to be honest)? Did you have such a great anticipation leading up to actually receiving what you had hoped for that you almost literally got sick over it? Well, if so, you’re not alone. Every kid probably goes through the same thing every Christmas Eve … and the anticipation of receiving the gifts they’ve hoped (and dreamed for) probably leaves them feeling so excited they have a hard time sleeping and waiting for an “acceptable” time to get up in the morning to finally dig in to their presents! For us, as believers, we too live in anticipation. Whether it be the anticipation of receiving some type of gift or the anticipation of getting an answer to prayer or some other thing we may have been hoping for, we too have to deal with anticipation … and we can have an expectation that everything will work out for the best as we trust in the Lord because, fortunately, our expectation to receive something good isn’t only dependent upon favorable circumstances … it’s dependent upon God and His power. It’s dependent upon the fact that – no matter what the circumstances may appear to be – God is still in control; God is still on the throne and is still working all things out for our good. No matter what things may appear on the surface, there are many other things hidden under the surface in the spiritual realm that God is working together for our good. Because of that, no matter what things may appear to be, we can trust that God’s plan will always prevail – always. Romans 15:13 (NIV) says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” So, the timeless truth for today is that we can hold onto our hope; our anticipation; our expectation … knowing that it comes from God Himself. We can have joy and peace … knowing that God is in control. We can trust in God and in the plans and purposes He has for our lives … because God’s ways are always far better than anything we could ever think, ask, or imagine (just read Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV): “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

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Tug of war (a Timeless Truths blog post)

tug of war 1

When you were a kid, did you ever play the game tug of war? Perhaps you were on the end that pulled that rope across to the winning side and you enjoyed the excitement of having won a victory! Or perhaps you were on the other side … the side that suffered the agony of defeat … only to be taunted by your peers and having to deal with it until the time finally came when you could be the one to overcome and win the war. In any case, you can probably relate to how it feels to be tugged in two different directions. First one side gets pulled one way, then the other until finally one side prevails. In the spiritual realm we (perhaps unknowingly) go through the same thing in the battle that we go through in our minds. We may know God wants us to “move out” in one direction, but our flesh is resistant and wants to go in the other direction. That tug of war that goes on in our minds can be just as brutal as any real-life tug of war on the playing field. The question is, who will win? Isaiah 43:16 (NIV) tells us, “This is what the Lord says – he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” Here, scripture is talking about something the Lord did for his people in the past … a time they could look back on and see how faithful he had been to bring them through their trials and challenges … however, it encourages them not to (just) dwell on that but, instead, to look forward – to look ahead to what God was getting ready for them to experience next. God’s people (including us today) need to continually move forward into the plans and purposes he has for our lives. God doesn’t want us to live in yesterday’s victories, he wants us to experience new victories today as he leads and guides us in the choices and decisions we make today. Yes, it is good to remember God’s faithfulness to us in the past and how he brought us through all the trials and challenges from the past … but the past is just that … the past. So, the timeless truth for today is to allow Jesus to “pull you” to his side in that tug of war in your mind. Allow him to win, and, in so doing you will be on the winning side … you will gain the victory … for it is only as we come into agreement with God’s plans and purposes for our lives do we truly win … it is only as we continually move forward that we win the battle that brings all honor and glory to the Lord. Remember, as others see how faithful God really is to bring us through (not only in the past, but in the present as well) will others be inspired to trust in him themselves … and that will be where the real victory is won!

 

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